cover image The Courier

The Courier

Kjell Ola Dahl, trans. from the Norwegian by Dan Bartlett. Orenda (IPG, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (276p) ISBN 978-1-912374-43-4

This solid mystery from Dahl (the Oslo Detectives series) centers on a murder committed during the German occupation of Norway. In 2015, elderly Turid Heggen learns of a unique bracelet about to be auctioned off. Though Turid hasn’t seen the piece in almost 50 years, she knows that it is hers, as it was one of the only items left from her mother, who was murdered when she was a small child. Flash back to 1942 Oslo, where Ester Lemkov, a Jewish girl, is working as a courier for the resistance. Esther lives through countless atrocities, including the deportation of her family members to their deaths in Auschwitz and the murder of her best friend, Turid’s mother. Never mind that most readers will easily solve the murder. What makes this such a page-turner is the confluence of events leading up to and after the crime. A dark but richly described backdrop and a relentless, underlying tension drive this sad story to its bittersweet conclusion. Fans of Nordic noir will be satisfied. [em](Oct.) [/em]